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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
 
Tricounty DFA Update: Major Report On Sweeney Forum!
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. A Major Report From Dick Dudley on Sweeney Social Security Forum;
The New Republican Scam & Frame
2. Sweeney Bad Actor on Baseball, too
3. Nora's House Party Report
4. New DNC website
5. Longer Than WWII
6. Oregon State Chair Speaks Out
7. Korea Bails Out On AEI

1. A Major Report From Dick Dudley on Sweeney Social Security Forum;
The New Republican Scam & Frame

Some of our members who attended the April DFA Action Day on Social Security at Rep. Sweeney's office in Glens Falls got invitations to yesterday's forum Rep. Sweeney held in Clifton Park; including our own Dick and Pat Dudley!

Dick wrote this report for us; I think it is a sensational analysis. He has spotted the next Republican scam and their new frame for it. Sweeney clearly was sent out to run up this trial balloon.


"Patricia and I got inside seats to a Social Security Forum held by Representative John Sweeney, Republican, 22nd Congressional District, held 6/27/05 at the Clifton Park Town Hall. This is the first he has had. Sweeney carefully sidelined himself giving only the opening and closing remarks. Nearly the entire evening was carried by panelists on each side of the great divide. No questions were allowed directly from the floor.

The real story, though, was in the final presentation by Alex J. Pollock, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. We deduced that he was the purpose of the meeting. All the rest of the panelists talked around and about Privatization, which we probably all agree is dead. Pollock presented what is the next attack on Social Security from the Right and one, we guess, Sweeney may be trying to advance. In fact, we wonder if this isn't the next concerted level of attack with Republican congressman told to fan out, hold meetings and push this plan.

Pollack started off in his smarmy manner telling everyone that since they all wanted to save Social Security they would be happy to hear from him. His solution is not private accounts but TIPS, Treasury Inflation Protection Accounts. (?), a sort of bond. These were presented as solving all the bad flaws, in effect, of private accounts . There would be no brokerage fees, they would not be subject to market fluctuation, they would be indexed to inflation to protect against inflation. And best of all, THEY WOULD BE IN YOUR NAME ! The import to the last was that "the current system had no legal obligations; " that it could be changed or even terminated by the whim of politicians. The TIPS program, as presented, would have legal obligations, be secure, and WOULD BE IN YOUR NAME ! He was obviously very pleased with himself.

It wasn't long before Suzy Ballantyne, Political Director for the AFL-CIO, New York, pointed out that this would undermine Social Security even faster than Private Accounts. She then went on, but in what has become the classic Democrat trap, swallowed her message in such policy wonkery detail that the audience was audibly confused.

We still haven't learned to present our argument in a crisp, clean, focused, summarized manner. Framing least of all.

The other panelists were Richard Kirsch, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York who gave a fine, clear presentation, emphasizing the "all of us in this together motif" as a moral and ethical basis. Unfortunately he was behind the curve to some degree in fighting a battle already conceded--private accounts. That may account for the sleepy smile on Pollack's face while Kirsch was speaking.

The final, actually first in line, panelist was James. B. Lockhart, Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration who gave a smoothly biased presentation complete with extensive handouts. A key example was one page that stated, in full, "Basic Reform Options --Raise Taxes, --Reduce Benefits,--Increase Investment Returns." Nothing, of course, about raising the cap beyond the $90,000 which is a key idea. It was only later that Our Side managed to get out that raising the cap would solve 75% of the problem in 2042. Towards the end, in a question and answer session, Lockhart almost hotly denied that Bush had ever considered privatization.

In conclusion, Sweeney said that "personal accounts ought not to be taken off the table at any time." In reference to the caps he stated flatly that "removal of the caps would be the largest rise of taxes on the middle class that had ever happened." Since two of the panelists had called for re-instituting the tax rate on the rich because of the huge deficit , he countered that "this nation went into deficit because of the war" and that the tax cuts had stimulated to the economy. He ignored the groans and jeers from the audience.

I would suggest that it is time now for a Rapid Response to this new challenge focusing on the latest attempt to undo Social Security. It would be great to see these people thrown back on their heels by a well framed, focused counter attack.

Yours,
Richard Dudley


2. Sweeney Bad Actor on Baseball, too

Here's another report on Sweeney many of us probably missed; Major League Baseball has created a new Washington DC team, with the intention of selling it to investors. George Soros, who has financed many progressive causes, is thinking of investing in the team. Sweeney and others are intervening to vindictively block Soros from participating. What's amazing about this is that they are accusing others of doing exactly what they are doing; injecting politics where it shouldn't belong. Is there anything they won't politicize? Baseball? So much for their precious "free market." http://blog.dccc.org/mt/archives/003059.html

3. Nora's House Party Report

Many thanks to Nora Nellis and everyone who came to last Thursday's DFA House Party. Nora as always puts on a great house party and we got to hear an interesting conference call detailing DFA plans for this summer.

4. New DNC website

When Governor Dean was elected DNC chair he promised a new, more effective DNC website. It's now up and he delivered. If you haven't seen it, check it out. There's a new initiative to support the Party, Democracy Bonds, and a poll to demand Bush find Osama. If you haven't registered with the DNC, you've no excuse now: http://www.democrats.org/

5. Longer Than WWII

The "War on Terror" has now lasted longer than the Second World War. That's right -- we went from total defeat at Pearl Harbor to General MacArthur's posing with the defeated Hirohito in less time. During those years we built 110,000 aircraft, as just one example, but we've been unable to build enough M1117 armored cars to equip more than a few of our troops. Check out this timeline and this piece in the Times on the disgraceful failure to equip our troops. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/27/191317/394 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/international/middleeast/26armor.html?ei=5094&en=4f357fbcefdcb074&hp=&ex=1119758400&partner=homepage&pagewanted=all

6. Oregon State Chair Speaks Out

Jim Edmunson, Chairman of the Oregon Democratic Party, wrote a great column on the importance of what Governor Dean has been doing as Party Chair: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-dean26jun26,0,2275726.story

7. Korea Bails Out On AEI

Drew found this intriguing report on a Korean news site. The Koreans are cutting support for the neocon American Enterprise Institute and admitting they prayed for Bush's defeat. http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200506/200506270029.html

Thanks everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the summer and keeping cool in this heat.

Larry Dudley

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
 
Tricounty DFA Update: House Party Invite, Sweeney Forum, DSM, More Smear Of HIllary, Dean rips 'em in Boston
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. You are invited to Nora's House Party For DFA Thursday!
2. Sweeney Forum; are they packing the house?
3. Downing Street Memo scandal builds
4. Yet another new low in Clinton bashing
5. Gov. Dean Rips 'em In Boston
6. On the lighter side: Operation Yellow Elephant


1. You are invited to Nora's House Party For DFA Thursday!

I want to remind everyone we're all invited to Nora Nellis' Summer Solstice House Party, Thursday, June 23rd at 7pm. A live conference call with Tom Hughes, the Executive Director of Democracy For America and others is scheduled. The goal is to raise a relatively paltry $100 for DFA and we will also be discussing the latest on DFA's Walmart initiative (we'll know more about that this week) to which we contributed some interesting suggestions. But mainly it's a time to relax!

We will have some light refreshments and people are encouraged to bring snacks, desserts or beverages, if they like. These parties have been terrific in the past, so it's not to be missed!

From the Northway Exit 21 turn West onto Luzerne Road going towards Lake Luzerne. Travel about 2 miles to the Roaring Brook Dude Ranch, which is on the left hand side going towards Luzerne. Nora's is just past the entrance to Roaring Brook. It's a log home with a circular driveway and a signboard out front. There's be a Dean For America sign -- it's the only sign we have!

2. Sweeney forum on Social Security: Better Reserve a seat

Rep. John Sweeney is finally going to have Forum to discuss Social Security Reform on June 27th at 8pm.

However, our Albany Meetup members have informed us the office is taking names for reservations. If you are planning to go, you should call Sweeney's office and ask to be placed on the list. It's possible they will try and pack the hall with the usual clones to protect Sweeney from any questions. I would suggest calling the nearest office, which here would be in Glens Falls: 792-3031

The forum will be at the Clifton Park Town Hall on Vischer Ferry Road in Clifton Park. Take the Route 146 W exit of the Northway 9. 0.2 miles , Turn LEFT onto CLIFTON PARK BLVD/NY-146 W. 2.4 miles., turn Left onto CR-90/VISCHER FERRY RD. 0.7 miles, Turn Left into TOWN HALL PLZ. <0.1 miles, end at 1 Town Hall Plz Clifton Park, NY

3. Downing Street Memo scandal builds

The Post Star deserves great credit for publishing a major Knight Ridder article on page three of Sunday's paper on the Downing Street Memo, with a graphic timeline.

The Downing Street Memo scandal -- which are actually minutes of a Prime Minister's Cabinet meeting, grows ever larger as a story. Mark Danner, who wrote the first article from the New York Review of Books I referenced to all of you over a month ago, and which broke the story here in America, has written another major piece that I highly recommend, and which honors Knight-Ridder's coverage, which has been out in front in adhering to the real standards of American journalism: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0620-24.htm

DFA has almost placed a short but very well done animation that succinctly compresses the issue into an easy to understand format.

This is something we should all try and pass along to everyone we know -- frankly, not everyone will plough through a long New York Review article, but a snappy animation reaches everyone: http://democracyforamerica.com/memo_movie.php Please pass this along! It's great!


4. Yet another new low in Clinton bashing

Anger and incredulity continues to build over a new defamatory book, The Truth About Hillary Clinton, which seems to sink to a new low (and I know that is hard to image, but it seems to be the case). David Brock, author of Blinded By The Right and founder of MediaMatters.org tears into the very many misstatements of facts and a general tone of gay-bashing innuendo that pervades the book, demanding to know how the book passed any publisher's normal fact checking: http://mediamatters.org/items/200506200004 This stuff is just stunning in it's relentless mendacity.

5. Dean Rips 'em In Boston

Governor Dean had a very successful fundraiser in Boston Sunday and ripped into the right wing and the Republicans again: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/06/21/dean_raises_cash_party_spirits/

Meanwhile, Marianne Means, one of the great deans of American newspaper columnists spoke out Sunday on Dean, urging him on, saying;

"But there's a reason the Democrats are in the minority everywhere in the federal government -- too much timidity in the face of controversy. Grow a spine, fellows. When the Republicans push, promptly push back."
Read the rest at: http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/opinion/11919336.htm

6. On the lighter side: Operation Yellow Elephant

Since the US Army is in its worst manpower crunch since the Second World War, maybe even the Civil War, Operation Yellow Elephant is calling on all Young Republicans, now meeting in their annual convention, to enlist right away to serve in the infantry to fight the war they all so deeply believe in. http://www.dailykos.com/section/Republicans

I know I will be holding my breath... NOT!

Hope you see you all at Nora's House Party Thursday!

Larry

Friday, June 17, 2005
 
Tricounty DFA Update: House Party Invitation, Sweeney Report, Hillary libeled? DSM and more
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. Join us for a DFA House Party Thursday!
2. Sweeney to hold forum on SS and some really bad votes
3. Senator Clinton libeled
4. DSM heats up
5. Dean speaks out again


1. Join us for a DFA House Party Thursday!

Everyone in DFA, all good Democrats, liberals, progressives and fellow travelers are invited to Nora's Summer Solstice House Party, Thursday, June 23rd at 7pm.

Everyone who went to Nora's earlier house parties, particularly during the Dean campaign, knows what a huge hit they were. A live conference call with Tom Hughes, the Executive Director of Democracy For America is scheduled and don't be surprised if there are surprise guests with Tom. The goal is to raise a relatively paltry $100 for DFA and we will also be discussing the latest on DFA's Walmart initiative (we'll know more about that this week) to which we contributed some interesting suggestions. But mainly it's a time to relax!

We will have some light refreshments and people are encouraged to bring snacks, desserts or beverages, if they like.

For those of us who haven't been there, Nora has a lovely Adirondack log home in Lake George, so this is the perfect time of year to go for the Adirondack experience. These parties have been terrific in the past, so it's not to be missed!

From the Northway Exit 21 turn West onto Luzerne Road going towards Lake Luzerne. Travel about 2 miles to the Roaring Brook Dude Ranch, which is on the left hand side going towards Luzerne. Nora's is just past the entrance to Roaring Brook. It's a log home with a circular driveway and a signboard out front. There's be a Dean For America sign -- it's the only sign we have!

Please RSVP by click here: http://petition.democracyforamerica.com/page/event/zdp or by email me or Nora at nnellis@capital.net

Hopefully we'll know more about the Walmart initiative we proposed at our last Meetup.

2. Sweeney to hold forum on SS and some really bad votes

Rep. John Sweeney is finally going to have Forum to discuss Social Security Reform on June 27th at 8pm.   The place is the Clifton Park Town Hall on Vischer Ferry Road in Clifton Park.   The In This Together Coalition is trying to get a large crowd to go and confront him on his silence on SS and other issues . To Get there take the Route 146 W exit of the Northway 9. 0.2 miles , Turn LEFT onto CLIFTON PARK BLVD/NY-146 W. 2.4 miles., turn Left onto CR-90/VISCHER FERRY RD. 0.7 miles, Turn Left into TOWN HALL PLZ. <0.1 miles, end at 1 Town Hall Plz  Clifton Park, NY

There are other questions he could be asked, because Congressman Sweeney's been a busy man lately.

First he voted against Vermont Rep. Bernie Sander's successful effort to keep the FBI and Homeland Security from examining what we read at libraries and bookstores. (This was a big victory for House Democrats with many Republicans defecting.) Does Sweeney not know the cops can get a search warrant from a judge for literally anything anyway? http://www.workingforchange.com/blog/index.cfm?mode=entry&entry=82337ABD-9B55-7515-33FFDF5FFB7133A9

Next: did you know there's a Congressional Horse Caucus? (Please... stop laughing... I am not making this up! And it is not Horse's Ass Caucus, although arguably it should be... ) It seems Sweeney is in favor of people maxing out their plastic gambling on horses online. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,159703,00.html How nice.

But the worse outrage may be that Sweeney voted against funding to fight methamphetamine addiction and trafficing. "Meth" has become a frightening plague in the Mid-West and I know many local police departments are really scared we're next. http://townmeetingday.blogspot.com/2005/06/john-sweeney-fighting-against-fighting.html

What a guy, against reading, for gambling and the most dangerous drug around.

3. Senator Clinton libeled

If you didn't know you could tell Senator Clinton's reelection is coming up. From accounts of a new book about to come out (The Truth About Hillary Clinton), one of which was in the Post Star, it's become clear in the last week we are going to see a regurgitation of the kind of slander we saw in the 90s. The far right especially seems to like putting lies in the mouths of dead people. Remember Vince Foster, who committed suicide early in Bill Clinton's first term? According to the far right either Bill or Hillary had him murdered because Foster was having an affair with Hillary or he knew about a drug deal or a land deal or Foster knew Bill was having an affair with someone else and so on. About the only thing they didn't claim was Bill was having an affair with Vince Foster, but I may not have been paying attention that day.

The dead mouthpiece now is Senator Moynihan and his daughter Maura is furious about it. Maura Moynihan says "The Truth About Hillary Clinton" is a complete pack of lies and can prove it. This account shows how low the far right will go: http://mediamatters.org/items/200506150002 According to news reports HIllary is thinking of suing for libel.


4. DSM heats up

The Downing Street Memo is finally drawing attention. Rep. Conyers held a hearing yesterday and tried unsuccessfully to present a petition signed by half a million Americans to the White House, but he wasn't even allowed on the grounds.

There are now a total of SEVEN Downing Street Memos, all with different aspects of this sordid story: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8207731 /
Two are online at DFA if you havenb't read them, along with DFA's petition: http://bsd.democracyforamerica.com/page/petition/downing
David Sirota has a good wrap up: http://www.davidsirota.com/2005/06/real-question-about-downing-street.html
Also The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?bid=3&pid=3539

This story has tremendous potential to wake the American people up to what has been done in their name; we have to keep this story rolling! It's starting to hurt: look at Drew's posting today: http://townmeetingday.blogspot.com/2005/06/fault-lines.html

5. Dean speaks out again

Governor Dean is staying on the attack; we'll be hearing more from him this weekend at Demfest in Austin. This covers some earlier comments: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/12/AR2005061200600_pf.html

The VRWC (What Hillary called the "vast right wing conspiriacy) is still lying about Governor Dean and fundraising: http://mediamatters.org/items/200506170001

Plenty of other people "get" what he is doing: http://www.corante.com/mooreslore/archives/2005/06/10/a_master_politician_at_work.php#more and http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0615-28.htm

Thanks Everyone! Hope to see you all Thursday!

Larry

 
John Sweeney: Fighting Against Fighting Meth
This is from the DCCC.

For Immediate Release June 16, 2005

John Sweeney: Fighting Against Fighting Meth
With A War On Meth Raging in New York, Representative John Sweeney (R-20) Votes Against Aiding the Fight Against Methamphetamine

This week, Representative John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) voted against aiding the drug war in this country. Twice.

Earlier this week, Congress voted to aid the fight against drugs in this country. Two amendments, the first, passed by a large margin, provides $20 million to fight methamphetamine trafficking and investigate related offenses, the second, which did not pass, was to restore funding to a grants program that provides money for states to curb methamphetamine production and distribution.

“Congressman Sweeney’s votes hurt the war on drugs – it’s that simple. His votes against the aid for methamphetamine trafficking and investigation and for more COPS funding as well as against a grants program that funds task forces are truly baffling. We’ve been fighting a war on drugs in this country for years and when amendments comes along that could help that effort, why would a Member of Congress vote against them?” said XXX COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CHAIR XXX. “This is only the latest example of Sweeney’s actions that give families in his district some pause. Both amendments that Rep. Sweeney voted against provide added safety and security to communities all over New York and America, unfortunately only the first one passed. Middle-class New York families deserve someone who fights for their safety, not someone who tows the party line at the expense of American security.”

The first vote was for $20 million that would be divided up and is expected to aid the long raging war on drugs. The amendment sends $10 million in added funds to the Drug Enforcement Administration to fight meth trafficking internationally and $10 million in additional funds for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. This vital program trains state and local prosecutors as well as law enforcement agents in investigating and prosecuting meth-related offenses. [HR 2862, Vote #248, 6/14/05]

Rep. Sweeney’s second vote was against a $286 million for the fight against meth. The underlying bill cuts funding for a program that funds the fight by 45 percent. This was a vote against an amendment to a funding bill that restores $286 million to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG) program. The cuts endanger nearly 400 state and local task forces and puts at risk state funding for the effort to slow meth production and distribution. [HR 2862, Vote #245, 6/14/05]

 
Fault Lines
Cracks are beginning to appear in the once seemingly solid Republican facade. President Bush , who claimed that his 1% electoral victory gave him a "mandate" and "political capital" is now attacking Democrats as obstructionists. This is a curious accusation for a President whose party controls both houses of congress with substantial majorities. It is not the Democrats who are to blame, but rebel republicans, who sensing that the Bush ship is sinking, are fleeing like rats.
First the judicial filibuster compromise signaled that some republicans (who unlike Bush have to run for reelection) were rethinking their close alignment to the radical elements of their party. Next the republican controlled house passed a bill promoting stem cell research. The senate appears posed to pass a similar bill. Then the Down street memo began to gain some traction in the press. Yesterday Democrats held hearings on the memo and then traveled to the White House to present a petition calling on Bush to answer questions about the memo-the petition was signed by over 500,000 Americans. Bush Press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters that the memo was nothing new and that the 911 commission had reviewed the memo and found nothing of substance in it. This was quite interesting because the memo surfaced long after the commission had presented their work.
Also on thursday 4 congressman (2 dems, 2 repubs) introduced a resolution calling on Bush to present a plan for troop withdrawal from Iraq. One of the sponsors, Walter Jones (R) was formerly a supporter of the war and the author of the "Freedom fries" resolution. Next came the results of the Terry Schiavo autopsy, which proved that Schiavo was not only in a vegetative state, but also blind from her brain damage. Senate Majority Leader Bill "the cat killer" Frist said this ended the debate even though video doctor Frist had claimed that he observed Schiavo responding to visual stimuli while he, Bush and Tom Delay meddled in the personal affairs of Schiavo's family.
And to end this post the controversy over Governor Dean's comments about republicans: Shadow president Dick Cheney attacked Dean's comments and said they would hurt Democrats. If that is the case then why comment at all? Why not sit back and watch Dean 'damage' the party? Obviously the experts at smear , who brought us the Swift boat veterans, can dish it out , but not take it. Dean's very truthful comments have the republicans very worried. With their domestic and foreign policy failures belonging completely to Bush (can't blame Clinton this time around) the prospect of a united and emboldened Democratic party terrifies this administration almost as much as having the public learn about the lies and corruption sure to exposed as republicans run for cover, leaving Bush high and dry.

Friday, June 10, 2005
 
Tricounty DFA Weekend Update: Local events, What is going on in the furor over Dean?
Hello Everyone:

In this update:

1. In This Together Coalition -- Call For Action Sunday at Clifton County Mall Sunday
2. Spitzer In Washington County
3. Furor over Governor Dean; why is this happening now?



1. In This Together Coalition -- Call For Action Sunday at Clifton County Mall Sunday

The In This Together Coalition is sponsoring an action Sunday at the Clinton Country Mall. There is a basically bogus "Town Meeting" on "Boomers and Aging in the Suburbs" with the information gather supposedly going to the WHite House Conference on Aging. Rep. Sweeney will be present and they hope to press him for the answers he has never really given on Social Security, which you would think would have some impact on "Boomers and Aging in the Suburbs." The time is 1:30 Sunday at the Community Room. For more on the official event: http://www.cliftonpark.org/articles/content.asp?MemberID=2421

2. Spitzer In Washington County

The "Sheriff of Wall Street" Attorney General Elliot Spitzer will be in Washington County Tuesday for a fundraiser. I am not sure if tickets are still available, but if the are the cost is $50 per ticket. It's at B&B on the Green, Kingswood Golf Club 89 County Route 41,Hudson Falls, NY from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm For info call 642-9566 or 854-3388

3. Furor over Governor Dean; why is this happening now?

As we all know, there has been furor over Governor Dean in the last few days, especially a really vicious and inaccurate piece on Alternet that seems to have gotten a lot of circulation, which accuses the Govern of abandoning his anti-war stance (more on that in a second). The Governor is in fact saying very tough things (still ) on the war and other issues, as those who have heard his speeches will know.

The question is why this is happening now? When he was out touring the country after he became Chair in January, he was saying the same tough things about the Republicans he always has. And his comments were no tougher, and actually probably not as tough, as what Senator Clinton said earlier this week: she said they had no shame, the Republican leadership was a dictatorship, that they thought they had a direct line to heaven and were not acquainted with the truth. I don't know where you go from there on toughness. Take another look: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/06/nyregion/06cnd-hillary.html?pagewanted=print A couple of weeks ago Senate Minority Leader Reid called Bush a liar. Period. We don't expect much of Republican officeholders, but when's the last time you remember a Democratic Senator flat out calling the President a liar?

So, what's the deal here?

The revelation of the identity of Deep Throat reminded us of a famous saying, "follow the money."

A not two weeks ago Dean announced the DNC was going to be putting millions of new dollars into building infrastructure in the State Parties. (See http://www.democrats.org/news/200506020001.html )

That's when the cow pies hit the fan -- because an unelected aristocracy of Washington consultants suddenly realized the gravy train was over. Some of these guys, like Bob Shrum, who made at least SEVEN MILLION BUCKS off of the Kerry campaign last year alone, or James Carville, among others, have become very, very wealthy off of electoral politics in this country. You see, when these guys run a campaign in a major race, they have a contract that gives them a commission on every advertising dollar, usually television, that is placed. When you realize that a Presidential campaign can spend a couple of hundred million on TV, we are talking tremendous sums of money.

Dean's sending money to the State Parties - to our level -- to build up the infrastructure and make us more competitive -- is enormously threatening to these consultants and they are doing what they can, which as we can see is quite a bit, to stop him. But the state chairs are very happy with this. They like Dean's 50 State Strategy, which in fact is now new, but dates to the very beginning of Dean For America. People ask how Dean spent $50 million bucks during the primary; the answers is he was doing the responsible thing and preparing a 50 state campaign from the very beginning. Dean had a professionally staffed office in the key state of Ohio in the summer of 2003. 2003! Kerry didn't have one there until almost a year later. And people wonder why Kerry lost? As the Governor says, we can't run in 18 states only and expect to win.

The state chairs are very happy about this: check out NPR today: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4698423

Other leaders are standing behind Dean because they understand we need a 50 state strategy to Take Back America: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/06/09/democratic_leaders_stand_up_for_dean/?page=full

This is great for us here in upstate New York, because our Party will no longer write off the 20th CD and give bums like Sweeney a pass. This reform means us!

A note on the issue of the war: we all should note none of our Democrats are saying much about the War right now. Check out the updates of the House Progressive Caucus, run by Reps. Sanders and Kuncinich. See if you see any updates about Iraq. http://bernie.house.gov/pc/update.asp

There is no need for us to be talking about this, and we shouldn't be. Enlistments are crashing, falling short at least 3,000 a month, excluding all those who don't reenlist, aren't retained, desert, or are wounded, etc. The Army is likely shrinking by a brigade at least every 6-7 weeks, maybe faster. There are only 60 brigades in the Army. Do the math. The war is lost. We can't stay much longer. The brass is breaking this slowly to the American people right now, as we saw on the network news tonight. The best thing is to sit back and let it explode in Bush's face, let him clash with the military over his infantile fantasy of empire, and we can then be in the position of defending the military from his crazy actions.

Those of us who are veterans of the last anti-war movement 30 years ago learned the hard way we don't want to be maneuvered into a position where the Republicans can accuse us of stabbing the Army in the back, which was the case they tried to make, with some success. This time the tables will be turned. And we will turn them out. For once we are playing this smart.

Drew sent me a great quote today from Martin Luther King, Jr. "Our enemies will adequately deflate our accomplishments; we need not serve them as eager volunteers." Right on.

Thom Hartmann suggests we all give just ten bucks to the DNC, pointing out that if one million Democrats did that, it would settle the argument over the party's direction right away: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0610-28.htm
Hartmann paraphrases the old saying about Truman: Dean just told the truth and they called it hell.

I have been in contact with DFA National in Burlington; they really like the idea we came up with in our last meetup of pushing a Walmart Law here in NYS, as the the Working Families Party, which is tremendous. When I hear more, I'll pass that along right away.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Larry

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
 
Tricounty DFA Update: Meetup reports, DSM action, Hillary starts to rock, Dean Breaks records, video and more
Hello Everyone;

Sorry to take so long to get this out -- I guess summer is catching us already; in this update:

1. Meetups in Glens Falls and Saratoga
2. Downing Street Memo links
3. Hillary Rips Republicans
4. Dean Breaks Fundraising Record

1. Meetups in Glens Falls and Saratoga

Last week we had meetups in Glens Falls and Saratoga; on the agenda was a video preview of the upcoming documentary "Walmart: The High Price Of The Low Price" by acclaimed film maker Robert Greenwald, who also created "Outfoxed" and "The War On Iraq." Greenwald's film is still in production and he is still looking for stories people have about Walmart's many unfair practices. If you have a story to share, or want to know more, you can go to the movie's website http://www.walmartmovie.com

In Glens Falls we agreed to propose to DFA a national action day on Walmart -- which we will carry out locally -- the core of the idea is the Maryland Walmart Act which requires companies with over 10,000 employees to provide health insurance for all their employees. We will be attempting to meet with our local state legislators to press them to introduce the Walmart law here in NYS. I have been in touch with DFA and they are very interested. I'll let you know what happens.

We will also be setting up a house party to benefit DFA on the 23rd; there will be a live conference call with DFA Executive Director Tom Hughes, possibly our new DFA Chair Jim Dean and maybe more!

Miranda Kyhill also volunteered to chair a committee for getting out info on Walmart and DFA's Walmart initiative.

The Saratoga Meetup got going again after a brief hiatus, meeting at Pat Friesen's in Saratoga.

You may have seen the article by Maury Thompson in the Post Star on Glens Falls 3rd Ward Council candidate Walt Combs' proposal for economic revitalization in Glens Falls. Glens Falls owns more land in Queensbury than the size of the CIty itself, mostly on or over the mountain. Walt is proposing to put electric wind turbines on the watershed. This could potentially bring millions of dollars of revenue to the city, slashing property taxes.

This is real and millions of dollars of annual revenue could be at stake, something that could transform the city. He also proposed Glens Falls adopt the new WiMax wireless Internet standard, which has a range of 30 miles at ten times the speed. Under one variation, City residents would get free extremely high speed internet access, while people outside could buy in at half the present rate.

2. Downing Street Memo links

In a news conference yesterday Bush angrily denied the substance of the Downing Street Memo that reveals he committed an impeachable offense by conspiring to attack Iraq. Drew wants to remind us that Rep. Conyers has an online petition asking for an investigation; Conyers is asking all of us to sign it and we should: http://www.johnconyers.com/index.asp?Type=SUPERFORMS&SEC={D96730F9-4989-479E-A5D4-BA439D2DB29D}

Also, Pat sends along this new webisite on the DSM: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

3. Hillary Rips Republicans

In a major address in Manhattan yesterday, Senator Clinton also ripped into the Republicans, according to this piece in the NY Times. Here's a great quote: "I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."

This is the first speech of her reelection campaign and it looks like a great season is in the offing! http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/06/nyregion/06cnd-hillary.html?pagewanted=print

4. Dean Breaks Fundraising Record: Also Take Back America Conference

Governor Dean has been on a rip against the Republicans and raising lots of money (contrary to some articles). The Washington insiders are not happy that the Governor wants to push back in Republican dominated areas (like the one we live in) by building up state and local parties and they are trying to undermine his efforts. They want all the money spent on Washington consulting firms (like the one the formerly "ragin cajun" Jim Carville owns). But the state parties are extremely happy. Check out This dKos posting: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/7/21857/23914 The author gets one thing wrong, though, those consultants have been entrenched for a lot longer than the 1990s. The over centralization of our party and its domination by consultants has been a problem for a very long time.

Incidentally, Sen Edwards retracted the critical statement about the Chairman he made the other day.

There have also been several good articles on Dean after a long drought:
http://www.workingforchange.com/blog/index.cfm?mode=entry&entry=4E3C8013-075E-2160-AF80AE6E8E674995
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/02/AR2005060201847.html

There is a full text of the Governor's address at the Take Back America Conference last weekened. Many of our Democratic leaders also spoke. Here's a page, courtesy of Drew, listing many of them with videos! http://www.ourfuture.org/projects/national_conference/2005/interactive.cfm#behind

Thanks everyone!

Enjoy this great weather,

Larry


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